Obscurity of DC Presents: Ultra-bscure Book Club, Week 64 (March 10-March 16) --- GEN:LOCK!

Welcome, @ObscurityofDCClub and other members of the DC Community! Welcome to Week 64 of Obscurity of DC’s Ultr-Obscure Book Club! This week, we’ll be focusing on…


Number of Books: 1

Synopsis from dcuniverseinfinite.com: Based on the hit animated series from Rooster Teeth! Earth is at war! The villainous Union has been steadily taking over more and more of the planet after initiating the Global Culture War. In an effort to stand its ground against the Union, the Polity turns to Dr. Weller and his team of five individuals who are gen:Lock compatible, which allows them to transfer their minds to mech suits known as Holons! Taking place between seasons one and two of the hit Rooster Teeth web series, this collection is an all-new story of Julian Chase and his team as they pick up the pieces of their lives, leading them into a high-octane adventure in one of the Polity’s last free countries, Japan!

Now that that’s over with, here are some discussion questions:

  1. How do Gen:Lock’s giant robot suits “Holons” differ from that of mechas in other media?
  2. In addition to the battles between Gen:Lock and the Union, members of Gen:Lock also go into the virtual world of Siege to uncover the mystery behind Sycorax. What makes the setting of Siege distinct from the real world?
  3. Why does General Anno distrust Gen:Lock, and more importantly, dislike Kazu despite being on the same team?
  4. After Chase joins Sycorax, the sisters began referring to Chase as their “brother.” Why is he referred to this and in what ways are Chase and Sycorax similar to each other?
  5. Who from the Gen:Lock team (Chase, Cammie, Yaz, Kazu, and Valentina) is your favorite member? Explain.

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I’m embarrassed I left this alone for a while because I basically I love this series and wanted to talk about it for a while. I know nothing about Gen:Lock but writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly (Outsiders, Batman Beyond: Neo Year, Aquaman & The Flash: Voidsong) wrote something I genuinely want to see of this universe in more comics.

  1. In contrast with Japanese mechas, famous examples being Mobile Suit Gundam and Gurren Lagann. The Mechas in Gen: Lock are not necessarily piloted in a suit, but the team actually becomes the robot itself by going inside a virtual machine and uploading their brains into the robot. The only exceptional one is chase who is a spoiler, had become fully connected to his robot, making him an entirely virtual being. It’s a really cool idea, and it’s distinct from other mechas by combining it with VR.

The world of Gen: Lock from what I have seen is in the future with high-tech technology, yet the setting is familiar enough to the modern world. The war Between two superpowers The Polity and the Union left the world in a constant state of conflict and uneasiness where even those on the Gen:Lock team need to escape the situation and play a popular game world called Siege.

This is a fantasy world in the vain of WOW. People explore and fight fantastical creatures and compared to the real world, it’s lighthearted. The world of siege is important for people like Cammie, predominately shown embracing her bunny avatar, and preferring to stay in the world of Siege rather than deal with the Union and avoid the troubles of the world. (Honestly, a relatable feeling)

Growing up, Kazu never liked authority figures. He fought against his commanding officer, General Anno who he saw as a prideful man who only cared about his own status. The two often clashed and soon after Kazu left Japan and joined Gen:Lock. Anno’s own ambition and resentment of Kazu who was part of the team made him more determined to make them obsolete with his own super Holon robot.

I assume Chase’s issues stem from not being “a real boy,” (Seriously gonna regret this Pinocchio joke later) but they’re way complex than that. Chase issue stem from pent-up emotions of not fully able to fully cope with trauma that happened to him to the unthinkable and team up with the villain, Sycorax. Chase and Sycorox beside being former disciples of the same mentor, Rufus Weller. Or the fact their virtual people, The Sycorax team and Chase, are also people who have noble and altruistic worldviews. They want to help the world like Chase and in that way, Sycorax sees themselves no different from Chase and why they view him as kindred spirits and almost family.

Honestly, I like them all. I’ll say arguably the weakest has to be Yaz, but not without a few good moments. Chase is my favorite one, but I’ll list the exact reasons why I like them all below:

  • Chase is a guy I saw on first impressions as a duty first kind of hero. But what I found enjoyable about Chase is that while he certainly invokes professionalism and leadership. He’s also fun. He makes time to play games with Cammie and tries to do right by others. It’s this part that is difficult for him as he’s going through with his own thing, but he bottles them up to help his team. It’s a cliché for me to write this, but he totally reminds of Luke Fox, especially right now in the Outsiders series with Chase being mocked for his broodiness, kind of like Luke.

  • Cammie is the second-best character. She’s got a cartoon appearance, but that’s intentional, as she’s the youngest and more Jubilant member of the team. She’s going through some issues relating to dealing with the war and wants to focus her mind on playing games, but as Yaz and Chase inform her, it’s not healthy. Cammie does a great at the end of this I’m not going to spoil, but it’s beautiful, and highlight how important her friends are to her.

  • Valentina is interesting. She’s a snarky and badass samuri lady, who’s incredibly funny.

    She’s good friends with Kazu, and she helps them with his anger issues, like in the way you see above. Not sure are they already together, but I really like them together. The most fascinating thing I found about Valentina. It was that in the beginning I thought there was an error because Valentina had a masculine appearance. That’s when I found out, Valentina is actually Gender-fluid. I thought that was kind of cool that in the digital world Valentina define herself as a male, and my lack of initial information about the character, made me appreciate the nuances of Valentina LGBTQ status without even knowing it. So besides being cool, she’s also interesting, which makes her the best, in my opinion.

  • Kazu I already said was a rebel who questioned authority, but there is so much more to it. It’s where you appreciate Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly because someone from that writting duo loves to write this kind of character. He is insecure about living up to his grandfather legacy and his idea about his rebel nature made him feel unworthy and left Japan to seek some kind of redemption. He loves his family, but he doesn’t feel like he’s earned it. Kazu is not my favorite, but he’s an engaging character I like to read about.

  • Finally Yaz. I got to say in terms of character, she does remind me of a bit of Val and Chase because she’s a strong leader with the baddasery of Val, but being a character, she’s got fewer moments to stand out from the rest. Doesn’t mean there isn’t. Near the end their is a great scene where Yaz and Chase disscuss their issues and how sorry she wasn’t able to help him with his lonliness. She’s supposed to be a leader, but because it take place in the vulnerable time for the team, she wasn’t able to. Great character, but it’s not enough for me to like her compare to the rest.

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Great answers!

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